Years ago I took a cooking basics course (which I highly recommend!) and my favorite dish to whip up for special events became Chicken Cacciatore. Prior to this, I had only made food that came out of a can or box. The class changed my entire outlook on what food could be. Food that I made. And this was the one that first stole my heart. It’s a beautiful plate and has turned out nearly perfect every time.
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 3-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-oz. can peeled whole san marzano tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup strong chicken stock
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, continuing to stir, for about 2 minutes more. Push onions to sides of pan, then add chicken and fry, turning pieces several times to brown evenly, about 4 minutes per side.
Add wine and cook until it evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, with their juice, to chicken. Stir in bay leaf, rosemary, and parsley (reserving 1 tbsp. or so for garnish) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, adding chicken stock gradually as tomato juice evaporates, for 45 minutes. Garnish with reserved parsley. Serve with steamed potatoes or white rice.